Another question--This time, All Grain

Brewing processes and methods. How to brew using extract, partial or all-grain. Tips and tricks.

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Another question--This time, All Grain

Postby Cheers » Tue Jan 14, 2003 10:04 am

Now that I have been extract brewing for quite awhile, I am making the jump to all grain. My extract has been done in a turkey fryer all this time and I bought a second one to go to all grain. What should my next step be? I don't want to extract on my next batch so I am ready to do what it takes. I know I have to get a couple of weldless kits to make my pots useable, but what else do I need? Also, since this is my first time, what temp should both pots remain at? What about the third? Does temp matter on that one? Thanks for all your help.
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1st step to making the jump

Postby Team Beer » Tue Jan 14, 2003 10:25 am

The very first thing you need to decide is how big you want your system to be ( 5 gallons, 10 etc ). Remember unlike extract you will be boiling your enire batch. So if you want 5 gals of beer you will need a pot you can boil all 5 gals. I say this because I am little worried about the volume of a turkey fryer. I hope I do not get in trouble for this but I highly recommend checking out the all grain systems from morebeer.com. If nothing else you can get a feel as to what you will need.
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Morebeer.com

Postby Freon12 » Tue Jan 14, 2003 2:43 pm

I ordered the Rubbermaid system from (b-500?) from morebeer.com(second mention) and have used it for two years now with great results.

The best thing about it was the mash tun. A false bottom is a must, and it was not too much money(relative to the project and great for apartment space brewing).

You can make a mash tun and use a regular cooler for the hot liquor or you can use a large one with a copper manifold in the bottom to do that sparge-mash all in one deal. or, a zap pap(see Charlie Papazian) two 5 gallon bucket system.(real cheap, but effective).

As for tempreture, I think shooting for 154f for 60min. is a start, if you don't have real precise insturment.

In other words, it's a matter of budget.


Steve
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Boiling

Postby dartedplus » Tue Jan 14, 2003 7:14 pm

As far as the pot size goes, if you are making a 5 gallon batch, you are realistically going to be boiling close to 6 1/2 gallons(depending on how vigorous your boil is) so you will probably need an 8 gallon pot. As far as a mash tun goes, I use a 5 gallon Igloo cooler, its OK unless you want to make something a little heavier in the alcohol dept.

The many systems you could have are only limited to your imagination. I get may water up to temp in my pot and then add the grains and allow them to do their thing for the alotted time. After I reaise the temp to mash out, I then transfer the grains and liquid to my prewarmed igloo cooler with the false bottom. I then start to recirculate the wort by opening the valve and collecting it and putting it gently back in the top (this is about as low tech as it gets.) While doing this, I use 2 small pots that sit ing my other pot that has water at about 175-180 degs in it (which will be used for sparging) this way, the wort is warmed by the pots and it aids in keeping the temp up during recirc. Then after about 20-30 minutes, I put my brew pot under the spout and start collecting the wort, while at the same time adding the hot water to the top to keep the grain bed submerged. Then when the correct amout is collected, its off to the burner and the rest of the process.

Hope this helps,

Ed
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A comment or two.

Postby Brewer2001 » Tue Jan 14, 2003 11:06 pm

Cheers,

Are your fry pots aluminum? I would only use them for water (you can boil wort in them for the short term, stainless is the way to go). Now stainless is expensive. Do you have a 'system'in mind? I have one 9.5 gallon stainless pot that I use to heat my liquor (for mashing/sparging and wort boiling) and a 6 gallon food grade plastic bucket with a false bottom and hose attached. I have thought about putting a fitting on pot but have not, and don't think I will. The pot is easier to store and clean without the tap. I am able to get clearer wort by syphoning it from the pot than I could by draining through the tap. The hot break and trub stay at the bottom of the pot (you will see more hot break than you did using extracts).

How do you know if you will like mashing all grain? I would work into the 'system' that you feel comfortable with over time. You have the brew basics well in hand, now try the rudiments of all grain without spending a lot of money. Brew an adaptation of one of your extract recipies, keep it very 'simple' at first (limited grain bill, smaller batch size, hit all the numbers, taste everything and keep good notes). When you can command and predict the outcome of a batch go back and look a the process and make changes as required. If you want to use the pot for beer (heaven forbid) you could cook a turkey!

I just came from a brewers guild meeting where the brewhouses that produced the beers/ales are all 'custom' systems, most constructed by the brewer/owner to complement the products being produced (sometimes working against them), they were built and modified as was required (these people are craft brewers that sell there products, but don't spend money unless they need to).

Quick rules of thumb:

Mash temperature: 148-154 F (mash in about 10 deg. hotter @ 'room' temperature)
Mash thickness: (L/G ratio) 2.0-2.5/1 (qrtH2O/lb malt)
Sparge temp and pH: 160-170 F @ 5.2-5.8
Stop runoff: @ SG 1.010 or when correct volume has been reached

Note on mash temperature and wort production: cooler temperature (148 F)> fermentability (more alcohol)
higher temperature (154 F)> body and smooth mouthfeel

Learn the craft well, even though it is a hobby.
Good brewing,

Tom F.
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My system

Postby Cheers » Wed Jan 15, 2003 4:29 am

I really don't have a system in mind. I don't know any systems. I have seen the various setups in morebeers catalog and such. The guys at my local brew shops have described it to me several times. But my problem is, I have never even seen it done, much less had a hand in it. I am really starting this completely blind.

Like I said, I have seen the setups in the catalogs and so (since I sure don't have that kind of money to spend) I thought I could concoct a system using the 2 burners on the fryers by placing them at different levels. I just really have no idea what I am doing. Any tips with that in mind?
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All things considered

Postby fitz » Wed Jan 15, 2003 5:58 am

Stainless is the way to go if you can afford it. That is not to say you can't make good or even great beer in aluminum. Some aluminum pots leach taste worse than others. Your best bet is to try it and see if it works for you. You can always upgrade as you are able. All grain brewing takes more time. Some kits make it easier and you may want to at least look at these kits if not buy one. The kits advertised can give you ideas so you can "concoct" your own. Look at the system at Williams brewing they have some good ideas, and time saving tips. Like you said most systems are expensive so making your own setup will not only save you cash, but will also tailor your system to you. I am kind of short on time to brew, so I do mostly extract brewing with some steeping. There are also some great new extracts out there that combine different malt to make extract brewing mor fun and diverse. Try some of these out too.Who would have thought you could get Maris Otter, Moravian pilsner, and Munic Malt in an extract form. Talk about a time saver. Do a little research before buying into any one system. Make it suit your likes and try to learn from others "I should have done this"
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How I made the jump ...

Postby Azorean Brewer » Mon Jan 20, 2003 2:10 am

The first thing that I recommend before any other step is to get a hold of Papazian's "New Joy of Home Brewing" and completely read the "Advanced (all-grain) section".

I had been brewing Extract for over 5 years and decided I wanted to take the plunge. Papazian explains EVERYTHING step by step, and how to make or buy everything you need. I followed Papazian's advice to the letter and my very first batch turned out great. I have been brewing all grain for close to two years now.

Don't be in too much of a rush. Read the section in the book at least twice and get what you need and once you think you know what to expect ... go for it.

It is better to have a sense of what it takes and know what you're up against, brew another batch of extract if you have to ... that will keep you in homebrew, but don't be in such a rush that you end up buying stuff you don't need or won't use ...

Good luck Grasshopper ...

Paul (a.k.a. Azorean Brewer)
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